Thank you for providing me the privilege of representing you and our community in the General Assembly. Over the last year, I have worked with colleagues and advocates from all walks of life on a variety of issues impacting our towns, region, and state. These range from municipal funding, LGBTQ protections, crumbling foundation assistance, the opioid epidemic, small business and manufacturing growth, to defending our health care and pushing back on any of the attacks we continue to see on many of our state’s most vulnerable populations. By building off of last year’s bipartisan budget agreement, we passed a budget revision that protects towns and provides increased state aid over last year’s budget.
While this mailing includes a snapshot of several pieces of legislation, I encourage you to visit the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research’s website (www.cga.ct.gov/olr/MajorActs.asp) to read up on all the 2018 legislation passed by the General Assembly. No one legislator achieves these successes on their own, as demonstrated by the fact that approximately 90% of legislation is passed on a bipartisan basis. Encouraging and strengthening our relationships with stakeholders throughout our great state is an integral part of the job and has afforded me the opportunity to advocate for you in the most effective way possible.
There is always more work to be done, and I look forward to our continued conversations, emails, and chance encounters throughout the community. Your voice is valued and you may reach out to me at any time at my home 860-528-8822, or at my office, 860-240-1378. And as always, my door at the State Capitol is always open!
Very Truly Yours,
Regulating Prescription Costs
Recognizing that prescription drug prices are the number one driver of rising healthcare costs, we passed legislation to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by increasing transparency and requiring them to explain large price increases for drugs that have a substantial cost to the state. Additionally, insurance companies must now submit information about which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which are provided at the greatest cost. By collecting more data and holding drug companies accountable, we can get closer to lowering drug costs for Connecticut residents. Public Act 18-41, Effective January 1, 2020
Protecting Your Healthcare
The Affordable Care Act contains the 10 Essential Health Benefits that we codified into Connecticut State Statutes this session. Regardless of what happens at the federal level, the 10 Essential Health Benefits will continue to be covered by Connecticut insurance policies. They include: Ambulatory patient services, prescription drugs, emergency services, laboratory services, hospitalization, pediatric services, maternity and new born care, preventative and wellness services, mental health and substance use disorder services, and rehabilitative services. Public Act 18-10, Effective January 1, 2019
Restoring The Medicare Savings Program
The bipartisan budget revision act restored funding to the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps low income elderly individuals and the disabled pay for the cost of medicine and healthcare premiums. The 2017 budget package called for a decrease in eligibility that was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018. The 2018 agreement maintains the current income eligibility limits. Public Act 18-81, Effective July 1, 2018
Fair Treatment For Inmates
I was privileged to join with Rep. Robyn Porter (D-New Haven & Hamden), advocacy groups, and Governor Malloy in championing legislation aimed at the fair treatment of women and transgender inmates within our correctional facilities. Transgender inmates are subject to unique risks to their health and safety, often dealing with harassment and humiliation on a daily basis. This new law will establish standards of treatment for inmates who have a gender identity that differs from their assigned sex at birth. We worked closely with legal experts and advocates at GLAD to create the strongest statewide protections for incarcerated transgender people anywhere in the country. Connecticut leads again! Public Act 18-4, Effective October 1, 2018
Relief For Homeowners With Crumbling Foundations
We passed bipartisan legislation that provides real relief to homeowners who are currently saddled with the responsibility of essentially paying for their house twice. Homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations feel betrayed by their insurance companies and let down by their elected officials. While some argued that it is not the responsibility of the government to help homeowners, I urged my colleagues to come together to ensure that an entire region of our state does not go without the necessary means to live physically and emotionally stable lives.
Following the passage of legislation last year to create a non-profit, private insurance company to oversee the distribution of funds, including $100 million in bonding, a new surcharge will provide additional dollars for the repair and replacement of crumbling foundations. Assisting homeowners in remediating foundations will help our towns maintain their tax base by putting these homes back on the grand list. We also passed consumer protection legislation requiring home sellers to disclose additional information about a home’s foundation to protect future homebuyers from this devastating issue. Public Act 18-160, Effective January 1, 2019 and Public Act 18-179, Effective July 1, 2018
Supporting Our Veterans
Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury, or are the victims of military sexual trauma deserve support as they recover and reintegrate into civilian life. Recognizing that these conditions pose unique challenges, we want to ensure our veterans are able to receive these often live-saving services. We successfully passed legislation this session to allow these veterans access to the state services they need and earned. Public Act 18-47, Effective October 1, 2018
Educating Our Students
This session we passed a law on new educational opportunities that includes a measure I have championed for several years to require high school health classes to include information on the state’s Safe Haven Law. This law prevents infant death and abandonment by allowing any individual to leave an infant (30 days old or younger) with hospital emergency room staff without fear of criminal charges. This provision has the potential to save the lives of not only the infant, but the parent as well. We also passed a new law requiring public school courses of study to include holocaust and genocide education. Public Acts 18-24 and 18-182, Both Effective July 1, 2018
Economic Opportunities For Our State
Continuing our efforts to encourage students to consider careers in manufacturing, we are working to develop mobile manufacturing training labs that will visit middle and high schools to educate students about advanced manufacturing. In pursuing public-private partnership opportunities, we will continue to demonstrate our belief that technical education and career training can lead students to successful careers. Special Act 18-24, Effective from Passage
2 Generational Initiative
The legislature continued to build upon the country’s first legislatively-created Two Generational Initiative, which is overseen by the Two-Generational Advisory that I co-chair. This ground breaking program integrates social services offered to children and adults to focus on helping entire families, not just individuals, get ahead. We passed legislation enabling the Office of Early Childhood to align the statewide reading plan for students in kindergarten to grade three with the Two-Gen Initiative. Additional legislation aims to increase data sharing between state agencies, ensuring social services are delivered in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. Public Act 18-129, Effective July 1, 2018, Public Act 18-19, Effective from Passage